CLASS v. NO DEFENDANT LISTED
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 1/4/2017. (TH, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
NO DEFENDANT LISTED,
6534 Park Ave.
Pennsauken, NJ 08109
SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge:
Plaintiff Julio Class seeks to bring a civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Complaint, Docket Entry
Section 1915(e)(2) requires a court to review
complaints prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis. The Court must sua sponte dismiss
any claim that is frivolous, is malicious, fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. This action is
subject to sua sponte screening for dismissal under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court will
dismiss the complaint without prejudice for failure to state a
claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a
claim, the complaint must allege “sufficient factual matter” to
show that the claim is facially plausible. Fowler v. UPMS
Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) (citation omitted).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Fair Wind Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308
n.3 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). “[A]
pleading that offers ‘labels or conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.’”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Plaintiff has not named a defendant in his complaint.
The Complaint ordinarily would therefore be dismissed. However,
though Plaintiff did not name a defendant, he has identified the
Camden County Jail (“CCJ”) as an actor in the facts section of
the Complaint.1 Complaint § III. The Court therefore will
construe the Complaint as seeking to bring an action against the
Plaintiff does not, however, identify what actions the CCJ
CCJ. But because the CCJ is not a “state actor” within the
meaning of § 1983, any purported claims against it must be
dismissed with prejudice. See Crawford v. McMillian, No. 163412, 2016 WL 6134846 (3d Cir. Oct. 21, 2016) (“[T]he prison is
not an entity subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.”) (citing
Fischer v. Cahill, 474 F.2d 991, 992 (3d Cir. 1973)).
Plaintiff may be able to amend the complaint to name
state actors who were personally involved in the alleged
unconstitutional conditions of confinement, however. To that
end, the Court shall grant Plaintiff leave to amend the
complaint within 30 days of the date of this order.2
Plaintiff is advised that the amended complaint must
plead sufficient facts to support a reasonable inference that a
constitutional violation has occurred in order to survive this
Court’s review under § 1915. The factual portion of the
complaint states in its entirety, “over[crowded].” Complaint §
III. Plaintiff also states that he slept on the floor.
III.A. Even accepting these statements as true for screening
purposes only, there is not enough factual support for the Court
The amended complaint shall be subject to screening prior to
3 In the caption portion of the Complaint, in the space
designated for identifying the defendant, Plaintiff also states
that he slept on the floor, that he was urinated on (presumably
while sleeping on the floor), and that he “got to eat one time .
. . .” Complaint at 1.
to infer a constitutional violation has occurred. In addition,
Plaintiff has not alleged any injuries or stated a requested
remedy. Complaint §§ IV, V.
The mere fact that an individual is lodged temporarily
in a cell with more persons than its intended design does not
rise to the level of a constitutional violation. See Rhodes v.
Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 348–50 (1981) (holding double-celling by
itself did not violate Eighth Amendment); Carson v. Mulvihill,
488 F. App'x 554, 560 (3d Cir. 2012) (“[M]ere double-bunking
does not constitute punishment, because there is no ‘one man,
one cell principle lurking in the Due Process Clause of the
Fifth Amendment.’” (quoting Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 542
(1979))). More is needed to demonstrate that such crowded
conditions, for a pretrial detainee, shocks the conscience and
thus violates due process rights. See Hubbard v. Taylor, 538
F.3d 229, 233 (3d Cir. 2008) (noting due process analysis
requires courts to consider whether the totality of the
conditions “cause inmates to endure such genuine privations and
hardship over an extended period of time, that the adverse
conditions become excessive in relation to the purposes assigned
In the event Plaintiff files an amended complaint, he
should include specific facts, such as the specific dates and
length of his confinement(s), whether he was a pretrial detainee
or convicted prisoner, any specific individuals who were
involved in creating or failing to remedy the conditions of
confinement, and any other relevant facts regarding the
conditions of confinement.
Plaintiff should note that when an amended complaint
is filed, the original complaint no longer performs any function
in the case and cannot be utilized to cure defects in the
amended complaint, unless the relevant portion is specifically
incorporated in the new complaint. 6 Wright, Miller & Kane,
Federal Practice and Procedure 1476 (2d ed. 1990) (footnotes
omitted). An amended complaint may adopt some or all of the
allegations in the original complaint, but the identification of
the particular allegations to be adopted must be clear and
explicit. Id. To avoid confusion, the safer course is to file an
amended complaint that is complete in itself. Id. The amended
complaint may not adopt or repeat claims that have been
dismissed with prejudice by the Court.
For the reasons stated above, the complaint is
dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim. The
Court will reopen the matter in the event Plaintiff files an
amended complaint within the time allotted by the Court.
An appropriate order follows.
January 4, 2017
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
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